Fortress Driffield: Men’s 2s continue unbeaten home run
By Adam Chard
Another Sowersby goal sees Driff share the spoils with Lindum 3s
Driffield Men’s 2s 1
Lindum Men’s 3s 1
YHA League Division 2
Saturday 20th October 2018
Driffield Sports Centre, Driffield
8. Billam T
9. Billam H
12. Hickie ©
After a reality check last weekend, going down 1-5 at Ben Rhydding, Driffield Men’s 2nd XI looked to get back to winning ways and extend their home unbeaten record with the visit of Lindum 3s. Their visitors from Lincoln went into the game with a mixed bag of results under their belt, so it would be difficult for the home team to know what to expect.
The Driffield side was much changed from the one that tasted defeat at Ben Rhydding. Midfielders Ben Miller and Jack Hardeman came back into the side, whilst there was a welcome return from injury for Matthew “Knappo” Knapton. Charlie Hall, Marcus Chacksfield and Jono Trowsdale returned to the defence, whilst Ash Ewbank and Tom Billam slotted into utility roles.
On an unseasonably warm and sunny day, both teams began cautiously, testing each other for weaknesses. Driffield had the best of the early pressure with Ben Miller and Jack Hardeman combining well to feed Sowersby and Harry Billam playing up front.
As expected, Lindum came with quick counterattacking tactics and put this to good use on the 10 minute mark. A speedy ball towards their experienced centre forward found the Driffield defence straining to get back and clear the danger.
Lindum enjoyed a good spell of pressure, forcing a couple of penalty corners, however the combined back line of Hall, Trowsdale, Chacksfield, Knapton and Chard did well to snuff out the threat. On the 20 minute mark, Driffield rode their luck considerably when a free ball in the circle fell to the Lindum striker, whose weak effort was hooked off the line by the diving Adam Chard in goal.
Lindum threatened yet again, driving the length of the field after a penalty corner routine broke down. With a 3 on 2 overload, Graham Hickie used all his skills and experience to channel the attacker, whose final shot skewed well wide of Adam Chard’s left-hand post.
After weathering the storm, Driffield settled into a nice period of play. Youngster Callum Seers on the wing was providing plenty of pace, whilst Tom Billam provided incessant running and intuitive through balls.
Harry Billam was, yet again, combining well with his strike partner Mike Sowersby, and it was the latter who came closest to a Driffield opener when his shot was well saved by the keeper.
The Woldsmen kept the Lindum defence on their toes with a couple of penalty corners. Despite another couple of shots on goal, they could find no way through.
Half time: Driffield 2s 0 Lindum 3s 0
After a positive half time team talk, Driffield came out with all guns blazing. Captain Graham Hickie, playing his imperious best, looked to increase the energy levels, going on a surging run. Meanwhile, Jonathan Trowsdale, helping in defence, was getting vital challenges in when called upon.
It wasn’t long before the Woldsmen took the lead. A superb counterattacking move began with Hickie on the left. The ball was quickly moved on from Harry Billam into the path of Mike Sowersby who, bearing down on goal, picked his spot with aplomb.
The home side continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession. Ben Miller, targeted by the away team, found himself on the end of numerous fouls. Sowersby probably should have put the tie to bed when he found himself clean through on goal again. This time, the keeper did well, spreading himself and saving with his stick.
At 1-0, there was always the danger that Lindum would get back into the game and they came mightily close, when their wily centre forward tried a reverse flick which whistled between Adam Chard and the far post. However, Driffield weren’t to heed this warning. Just minutes later, a bouncing ball evaded a couple of sticks in the home circle. Chard made a save from the initial strike, with the rebound falling nicely to an attacker, whose strike on goal hit a sliding Jonathan Trowsdale in the leg. The umpire immediately blew for a penalty flick and Trowsdale was yellow carded.
The resulting flick was too precise for Chard to get near and Lindum were back on level terms.
Despite only having 10 men, Driffield went in search of the winner. After some patient build-up involving Graham Hickie and Ash Ewbank, Callum Seers was unlucky to see his shot saved from the narrowest of angles.
The final whistle blew and a frenetic game came to an end.
Full time: Driffield 2s 1 Lindum 3s 1
Despite looking the likelier team to win, Driffield had to settle with a hard-fought point, maintaining their unbeaten run at home and leaving them sixth in the Division 2 table.
This coming weekend, Driffield travel to bottom-placed Rotherham 2s, in search of their first points on the road.
Man of the Match: Tom Billam—everywhere on the park, Tom offered an extra dimension to Driffield’s play.